Former Chief of Defence Forces and Governor-General Designate Jeremiah (Jerry) Mateparae will receive an Honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Massey University at this Thursday’s graduation ceremony in Palmerston North.
Lieutenant-General Mateparae (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungungu) has had a long association with the University and supported its provision of professional military education for nearly a decade.
Born in Whanganui, Lt Gen Mateparae completed school education at Wanganui High School and enlisted into the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in June 1972. After three years’ service as a soldier, he graduated in 1976 from the Officer Cadet School at Portsea into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, serving in both battalions of the regiment, and with the New Zealand Special Air Service.
He served as Chief of Army from 2002-2006 and as Chief of Defence Force in the rank of Lieutenant-General from 2006-2011 – the first officer of Māori descent to hold the rank and appointment.
Lt Gen Mateparae’s current appointment is director of the Government Communications Security Bureau and he will take the office of Governor-General of New Zealand in August.
Director of the University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies Professor Glyn Harper says Lt Gen Mateparae’s support of officer cadet and undergraduate officer initiatives has greatly enhanced the teaching capacity of the centre and strengthened its relationship with the New Zealand Defence Force.
More than 1000 students will graduate from the University in Palmerston North this week across six ceremonies from the Colleges of Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Sciences. Ceremonies to honour Pasifika and Māori graduates will be held on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning respectively.
Thirty-three Doctor of Philosophy degrees will be conferred, along with two Doctor of Clinical Psychology degrees, a Doctor of Education, Doctor of Business and Administration, and Doctor of Science.
The ceremony to honour Lt Gen Mateparae will be held at the Regent Theatre on Broadway in Palmerston North from 9.30am. A procession to the marquee in the Square will follow at about 11am, where opportunities for interviews and photographs will be provided.